Saturday 24 June 2023

'Static' by Darcie Johnson

The signal was first detected by some kid on his ham radio.  I wondered what would have happened if he had just switched to a different channel and not told anyone.

It seemed silly. Who cares about some sound on a radio? Cassie and I had laughed about it. How did anyone know it wasn’t just static?

But it wasn’t static. It went from puff piece to the only thing on the evening news. They talked about it without telling us where it came from or what it did. Except that they thought it was some kind of wake-up call.

Now they’re estimating that half the population is affected, and the numbers are growing.  Most people think it’s some kind of extra-terrestrial parasite. Embedded in humans from the beginning. Taking over quietly and turning us into real-life pod people. Others think it's a form of mind control, sent from another country to turn us against each other. We’re all being asked to see our doctors; they have a way to tell if we are still ourselves.

Last week Cassie and I made a plan.  If the world is ending, we just want to be together.  So, we packed our bags and plan to leave before things get crazier.  I had my appointment last week and she has her’s today.  She’s scared. Worried they’ll think something is wrong with her. Not everyone comes back from the doctor, her dad didn’t. I agreed to go with her, said we’d leave right after.  We held hands and rode up in the elevator together.  

“It will be ok, Cass.  Once we get through this we can go anywhere.”

But of course we wouldn’t.  I knew once Cassie went in, she wouldn’t come out the same.  I hadn’t either.

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